Bible Study - Commentary by Jim Melough
2003 James Melough
35:1. “Moreover the word of the Lord came unto
35:2. “Son of man, set thy face against mount
Seir, and prophesy against it,”
Having declared the doom of Israel’s false shepherds, God here commands His
servant to announce the doom of Seir, i.e., the territory of Jacob’s twin
brother Edom (Esau), which lay south of the Dead Sea.
35:3. “And say unto it, Thus saith the Lord God;
Behold, O mount Seir, I am against thee, and I will stretch out mine hand
against thee, and I will make thee most desolate.”
The prophecy began with the most awful pronouncement that any nation or man
could hear, “I am against thee.” The believer has God’s assurance, “I am with
thee always, even unto the end of the world (age),” Mt 28:20, with the added
assurance, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee,” Heb 13:5.
“... most desolate” is also translated, desolate waste: desolation and an
astonishment: waste and a cause for wonder: desert and desolation. This
will be also the end of the man who dies unrepentant.
35:4. “I will lay thy cities waste, and thou
shalt be desolate, and thou shalt know that I am the Lord.”
The same sad fact continues to be announced that the One they could have known
as the God of love and mercy, had they obeyed Him, is the One they must
ultimately know as the stern Executor of judgment, because they choose to walk
in disobedience, as will every man who refuses to trust in the Lord Jesus
Christ as Savior.
35:5. “Because thou hast had a perpetual hatred,
and hast shed the blood of the children of Israel by the force of the sword in
the time of their calamity, in the time that their iniquity had an end:”
The record of Edom’s slaughter of the Jews is recorded in Ob 11-14.
“... perpetual” is also translated, long-standing: an old enmity.
Concerning Israel it is written, “Israel is my son, even my first born,” Ex
4:22; and again, “For the Lord’s portion is his people; Jacob is the lot of
his inheritance. He found him in a desert land, and in the waste howling
wilderness; he led him about, he instructed him, and he kept him as the apple
(pupil) of his eye,”Dt 32:9-10; and again, “... he that toucheth you (Israel)
toucheth the apple (pupil) of his (God’s) eye,” Zech 2:8.
The same principle applies also to believers of this present age of grace,
hence the Lord’s command to us, “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye
love one another, as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this
shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another,”
“... their calamity” is also translated the hour of their doom. Having
refused to repent in God’s time, that generation of rebel Israel had doomed
themselves to eternal destruction.
35:6. “Therefore, as I live, saith the Lord God,
I will prepare thee unto blood, and blood shall pursue thee: sith (since) thou
hast not hated blood, even blood shall pursue thee.”
God’s swearing by Himself declares the immutability of the sentence against
Edom; their being prepared “unto blood” meaning that He was going to hand them
over to be slain by the sword. Since they had delighted in shedding blood He
would requite their blood-lust by delivering them into the hands of those who
would shed their blood, as the Lord warned Peter, “... all they that take the
sword shall perish with the sword,” Mt 26:52.
35:7. “Thus will I make mount Seir most
desolate, and cut off from it him that passeth out and him that returneth.”
The land of Seir would be left so desolate that none would come or go through
35:8. “And I will fill his mountains with his
slain men: in thy hills, and in thy valleys, and in all thy rivers (ravines),
shall they fall that are slain with the sword.”
The destruction would extend throughout the length and breadth of the land.
The bodies of the slain would lie everywhere.
35:9. “I will make thee perpetual desolations,
and thy cities shall not return: and ye shall know that I am the Lord.”
The desolation of the land would continue for ever. No one would ever again
inhabit the deserted cities. And like the tolling of an ceaseless knell the
truth continues to be emphasized that they would only know God as the Avenger
because they had refused to know Him as the Blesser of obedience.
35:10. “Because thou hast said, These two
nations and these two countries shall be mine, and we will possess it; whereas
the Lord was there:”
With greedy anticipation the Edomites viewed God’s deportation of His
rebellious people Israel and Judah, as their opportunity to seize for
themselves the lands thus vacated, the final clause being also translated,
although the Lord was there: where Yahweh used to be.
35:11. “Therefore, as I live, saith the Lord
God, I will even do according to thine anger, and according to thine envy
which thou hast used out of thy hatred against them; and I will make myself
known among them, when I have judged thee.”
The New English Bible translates the first half of this sentence, “...
your anger and jealousy shall be requited, for I will do to you what you have
done in your hatred against them.
“... I will make myself known among them” is also translated, “among
you,” but there is no need to quibble over which is correct, for both, in
fact, are true: the Edomites and the Israelites would both know, by His
judgment of Edom, that the One to Whom they were both accountable, was the
35:12. “And thou shalt know that I am the Lord,
and that I have heard all thy blasphemies which thou hast spoken against the
mountains of Israel, saying, They are laid desolate, they are given us to
Clearly this is addressed to the Edomites. In the day when He executed
judgment against them for their blasphemies (revilings: contemptuous words)
against Israel, they would learn how wrong they had been in concluding that
God’s expulsion of Israel and Judah meant that He was thereby making the land
available to them, the Edomites.
35:13. “Thus with your mouth ye have boasted
against me, and have multiplied your words against me: I have heard them.”
“... boasted” is also translated spoken recklessly: talked arrogantly: have
repeatedly slandered me: used insolent and wild words. He Who discerns
the thoughts and intents of the heart, doesn’t need to hear what men say in
order to know what they think: He is omniscient. He knew their evil thoughts,
and was about to requite them in full measure.
35:14. “Thus saith the Lord God; When the whole
earth rejoiceth, I will make thee desolate.”
“When the whole earth rejoiceth,” can scarcely have any other application than
to the Millennium, thus indicating that Edom will have no part in the
blessings of that halcyon age.
35:15. “As thou didst rejoice at the inheritance
of the house of Israel, because it was desolate, so will I do unto thee: thou
shalt be desolate, O mount Seir, and all Idumea, even all of it: and they
shall know that I am the Lord.”